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Full text of "The Gay Genius"

SECOND PERSECUTION                        297

that has got to be done. I know what is awaiting me, but I must do
it." He sent a letter to the court asking for the pardon of the old
premier, and naturally was himself exiled to the south.

The old man went cheerily on his way, accompanied by a devoted
family. Whenever his children spoke bitterly about Chang Chun, he
stopped them. Once their boat capsized and he was pulled out of the
water with his clothing all wet. He turned round to his children And
said jokingly: "Do you think that Chang Chun is responsible for this,
too?" He almost lost his eyesight, but lived happily with his family.
Later, when the young Emperor died he was showered with attention
and favours from the succeeding emperor. The court sent its own
physicians to attend to him and wanted to call him back to premier-
1 ship, but he refused. At the time of his pardon he had lost over a
dozen members of his family from disease and poverty, and he himself
died on his journey back to the north.

' Naturally, the persecution included all four of Su Tungpo's disciples.
The exiled persons were not left at peace, for all of them were suc-
cessively degraded and sent from place to place. In time, a special
bureau was established to round up all supporters of the Yuanyu
regime so that no one could escape. The bureau was to file and screen
all official communications during the regency, beween May 1085 and
April 1094. Any scholar who had said anything for reversal of the
economic policies of Wang Anshih would be considered guilty of
libelling Emperor Shentsung. By such close scrutiny they were able
to round up and punish eight hundred and thirty officials, and the
. carefully classified ran to a hundred and forty-two volumes. Eventually
the persecution culminated in the Yuanyu Partisans Tablet, referred
to in Chapter I.

Tseyu had been dismissed in March. He had continued to oppose
the policy of "return to one's ancestors ways", but the way in which
he was dismissed showed something of the character of the boy
Emperor. Tseyu had quoted historic examples to show how succeeding
emperors had often modified the policies of their predecessors. Among
the examples he quoted was the great Emperor Wu of Han, under
whose regime the Chinese Empire was extended to Turkistan and
beyond. Chang Chun had not yet become premier then, and there
was another man, Li, who had hoped to replace Tseyu. li told the
young Emperor that his comparison with Emperor Wu was a great
. insult to his father; and, ignorant of Jiistory, the young boy believed
him, and had Tseyu deprived of his ranks and sent as a magistrate to
Juchow. Only a few months later, Tseyu was banished to Kao-an.